Do you know what is perfect for a rainy day? A playdate? Any sick day? Or a just-about-an-anything day? Homemade musical instruments!
If you’re not sure what to do with those little ones, making a homemade musical instrument band is the answer! There is so much fun to be had and amazing memories to be made as well.
In my newest Family Unit Study, Musical Instruments, we create DIY string instruments, percussion instruments, a trumpet, and even a bottle flute! Put those all together and you’ll be the most rocking, musical family band in town. Just imagine the neighborhood concerts you’ll perform! Or maybe a closed-door family room concert…
Before we get into the 40+ other homemade instrument ideas, you can take a closer look at the Musical Instruments Family Unit Study and what’s included right here: https://shop.howweelearn.com/products/family-unit-study-musical-instruments
Or grab a sample of a Family Unit Study to see how they are organized to be beautiful, engaging, and easy to use:
40+ Splendidly Creative Homemade Musical Instruments!
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The Easiest Musical Instruments to Make
DIY Bottle Flute – So easy to make and fabulous for practicing patience and persistence! It’s also a great way to practice fractions as you fill the bottles to create different pitches in sound.
Aboriginal Clapping Sticks by Laughing Kids Learn – A wonderful homemade instrument to practice rhythm and beat.
Singing Straws by Krokotak – Now this one looks awesome! Take a few straws and tape, and you have quite the creation.
Popsicle Stick Harmonica by Housing a Forest – We have already tried this homemade musical instrument; it is the ideal blend of simplicity and fun! Just grab some colored popsicle sticks and rubber bands, and you’re set.
Cardboard Guiro by Tiny Tapping Toes – I simply love how big this musical instrument is! Perfect for little ones who need to burn off some energy (also known as my kids… always).
Instruments for Shaking
Rhythmic Shaker – This was the activity that started the fascination with DIY musical instruments for my boys. A classic, really, but with a neat twist!
Sensory Bin Shakers by Fun-a-day – Such a lovely way to extend on a sensory bin.
Paper Plate Tambourine by She Knows – A classic activity with some weaving, too—a great way to practice fine motor skills while creating homemade instruments! A paper plate, some jingle bells, and yarn or string are all you need.
Jingle Bells by Chasing Cheerios (link no longer available) – Such a lovely musical instrument for little musicians! These little jingle bell sticks are perfect for holiday preschool concerts.
Ankle Bells by Mini Eco – I think that this knitted project is just what my daughter Madeline has been looking for to create homemade Christmas gifts for her brothers! The colorful yarn is gorgeous, too.
Recycled Instruments for Shaking!
Fancy Egg Shakers by Mama Smiles – We love this classic homemade musical instrument for kids! A great way to reuse those plastic Easter eggs, too.
DIY Rain Sticks by The Imagination Tree – My little ones would love creating this version of a rain stick. Any craft that involves a hammer is right up their alley!
Maracas by What’s Up Fagans – What a simple, creative idea! Another great way to use up those plastic easter eggs. A whole class set would be simple to whip up.
Whisk Maracas by ALLterNATIVE Learning – I love that you can make this for your little ones in a matter of moments; perfect for in the kitchen when making dinner, too.
Cardboard Rattle Drum by Pink Stripey Socks – This is a neat instrument for preschoolers to explore!
Rainstick by FSPDT – I used a rainstick in my Kindergarten classroom as a way of getting little ones’ attention and preparing them for transitions, but it also makes a unique homemade musical instrument!
Instruments for Plucking or Strumming
Kalimba Musical Instrument by Herding Cats George – A paper plate (and we all know my love for a good paper plate craft!) and some popsicle sticks make this craft perfect for using what you have on hand.
Nutshell Musical Instrument by Artists Helping Children – Now this is an easy homemade instrument! A nutshell, a rubber band, and a stick are all your little one needs to get rocking.
Pin Strummer by Piikea – This one was new to me, but looks so simple, interesting, and inviting I can’t wait to give it a try (or should I say a DIY) with my kids.
Matchbox Guitar by Martha Stewart (link no longer available) – Incredible homemade musical instruments AND fantastic for fine motor skill development. Can’t beat it! (Really, you can’t—you are supposed to strum it.)
Cup Drum also by Play, Sing, Laugh (link no longer available) – This one will be a neat one to try! Also great for developing a pincer grip.
DIY Strummies by Teach Preschool – Some rubber bands, a box, some creativity, and you are good to go! This activity was an extension to a book—a really neat one, too!
DIY Wooden Instruments by Hello Bee – These are perhaps more adult-made, but simply gorgeous—and durable too!
Baby Guitar by House of Burke – Starring Rockstar baby Kingston and supplies you already have!
Noisemakers by FSPDT – Sometimes it is the simplest of things that spark the most creativity in my little ones—these simple shakers are great musical instruments!
Homemade Musical Instruments for HITTING and BANGING!
Rainbow Xylophone by And Next Comes L – Nothing quite as inviting as playing with rainbow colors on a dull winter’s day! This craft will be tucked safely up my sleeve until February, I do believe. (Do you remember me whining about February last year?)
Steel Drums by Sugar Aunts – This post is all about a Rockin’ Drum Birthday Party—loads of ideas for homemade drums and more!
Wooden Xylophone by In Lieu of Preschool (link no longer available) – What a neat idea! I love the trick of using colors to help teach little ones to play music.
Rainbow Water Xylophone by Still Playing School – Another classic homemade musical instrument with a twist! What a neat idea to add some food coloring… and a light table!
Bop-o-phone by My Musical Magic – Homemade musical instruments, in general, are great to brighten dull days; this bop-o-phone looks like it would brighten even the darkest, greyest of winter days!
Outdoor Musical Instruments (also great for HITTING and BANGING!)
Pot Bell by Play, Sing, Laugh (link no longer available) – We have a few terra cotta pots left over from the summer that could be put to good musical use this winter.
Melody Pole by Timotay Playscapes (link no longer available) – Because even in the winter, we will be outside every day!
Banging Wall by SouleMama – Such a lovely, open-ended invitation to create music, from my favorite blogger of all time!
Disc Cymbals by Happy Hooligans – So simple, fun, and creative! And I bet they are a nice, quieter alternative to some homemade cymbals.
Wrench Xylophone by De Tout et De Rien – This has my Sammy’s name written all over it. I will have to wait for a weekend when our wrenches will not be needed for a while. I have a feeling after we make this, we won’t be able to wrench (?) for a few weeks.
The Most Creative DIY Musical Instruments for Kids!
Tubaphone by Play, Sing, Laugh (link no longer available) – Well, just look at it!! I am surprised I am still sitting here writing and not creating one of these myself right now!
French Horn by Savvy Homemade – Bet you have never seen a French horn quite like this one! For us, it will require some supplies we don’t have at home—like a funnel and corrugated pipe—but it just might be worth the trip!
DIY Didgeridoo by Two-daloo (link no longer available) – Because some days you just need to make a Didgeridoo. Not sure what a Didgeridoo is? Well, today is the day to find out friends!
Coconut Shell Instruments by Two-daloo (link no longer available) – This one is such a unique idea! What a fun way to explore sound.
Those are enough homemade musical instruments to keep your family performing all year!
I tell you, if you are ever not sure what to do with your little ones on a rainy day, or if a playdate is going awry, or if it’s a snow day for the big kids… homemade musical instruments will be your saving grace.
Get the Complete Homeschool Music Unit Study
Grab the full Musical Instruments Unit Study right here: https://shop.howweelearn.com/products/family-unit-study-musical-instruments
Enjoy, my friend!